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Save the Children Philippines honors staff, volunteers for protecting children from COVID-19

Despite the imminent danger of getting infected and threats of hostile environments, Save the Children staff and volunteers work hard every day in Metro Manila, Visayas, and in conflict-affected areas of Mindanao to provide hygiene kits, food packs, water, and hygiene sanitation kits, as well as other essential services. 

“It breaks my heart to see my son cry as I leave to conduct humanitarian response,” said Kitty Arce, a mother and staff of Save the Children Philippines. She explained to her son about the importance of her work in providing support to children and families who do not have the means to protect themselves from COVID-19. “We need to do what we have to do to protect children of poor families from the pandemic because this is our duty.” 

As part of the global celebration, Save the Children also pays tribute to its founder, Eglantyne Jebb, a teacher and humanitarian activist who took a stand on behalf of children who were bombed, starved, and raped during World War II. She founded Save the Children in 1919 and wrote the Declaration of the Rights of the Child which inspired the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

Lawyer Alberto Muyot, Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children Philippines, said the selfless work of staff and community volunteers have been critical to the implementation of programs to ensure children are healthy, continue to learn, and are protected from violence amid the pandemic. 

“We take pride in our history of providing humanitarian work in the most difficult and risky situations in the last 100 years in more than 120 countries including the Philippines,” said Muyot. “The legacy of our founder Eglantyne Jebb lives on in our hearts through the unwavering commitment and dedication of our staff, and volunteers.” 

Samarudin Samsudin, a 21-year-old volunteer of the Child Peace Movement Council (CPMC), was also inspired by Save the Children Philippines to mobilize his fellow youth in providing educational support to learners in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) who are missing out on school due to the health crisis. 

His group also continues to promote the lessons taught by Save the Children Philippines in its Spaces for Peace program in partnership with the Bangsamoro Civil Society in 2017 to strengthen the protection of children from ongoing conflicts in the province of Maguindanao. 

“We want to ensure that children and youth in the Bangsamoro areas are protected from all forms of abuse and violence in their communities,” said Samsudin. “As a responsible youth, it is also our duty to help and raise awareness for others, in any way we can. Our volunteer work may just be simple but we strongly believe that it could change the situation positively and save the children.”  (Save the Children)

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